THE Gunnedah Bulldogs have kept their AFL North West winning streak alive with a 37-point victory over the New England Nomads at Wolseley Oval.
Taking on the Nomads for the second time this season, the Bulldogs were out to repeat their winning efforts from earlier in the season.
However, it was to be a different-looking Nomads side as veterans David Richards (four goals) and Tom Hunt made their way back into the Nomads outfit.
The inclusions made a major impact on the Nomads' game plan as they trailed by just 11-points at quarter time.
Things remained tight in the second term as the Nomads clawed back the Bulldogs lead to go into the main break five points adrift.
Both sides looked to take control of the game in the third term.
The Bulldogs experienced campaigners such as Jacob Spackman (five goals) and Sam Proudfoot (three goals), helped give their side an 11-point lead at three-quarter-time.
With the game up for grabs heading into the final term, the Bulldogs young stars like Jasper Thomas and Hayden Baker ensured the home side ran out with a 16-19-115 to 11-12-78 win.
Bulldogs captain Ben Maher said his side's five-goal final quarter was a "great effort from the boys".
"They [the Nomads] had Tommy Hunt and Clarrie Baker back in the side for the game, which really helped them," Maher told the Namoi Valley Independent.
"Those two helped keep the Nomads really organised across their halfback line, which made it really tough for us to lock it in our forward half in the second and third quarters.
"But, we eventually did enough to get across the line, it is always nice to get a win over the Nomads."
Maher, who made his return from a shoulder injury for the match, was full of praise for Thomas' defensive efforts throughout the game.
"We gave JT [Jasper Thomas] a shut down role on Modra [David Richards] and he completely shut him down, which was fantastic," he said. "Jasper was fantastic, as was Georgie [Andrew George] and Badge [Alistair Hillard].
"Georgie was up to his usual tricks in the middle, while Badge's rucking and second efforts were fantastic."
Maher said the game wasn't entirely positive for the Bulldogs, as for the second-consecutive week the side kicked more behinds than goals.
"I'd say more goal kicking is on the agenda for us at training this week," he said.
"That and getting better at locking in our forward half because we weren't too good at that on Saturday."